I can’t believe I’m back to this, after stating clearly that this blog will have none of it.
It got mentioned in a discussion I wasn’t supposed to see, that I no longer do GloBL comics, or write m/m fiction & fanwork, because there’s no money in it anymore. Oh I wish I could play that card with a serious face! I stopped writing in the genre when things got creatively-cumbersome. Notice I didn’t say morally-cumbersome? Who can play the moral card when talking about writing erotica?
If you don’t know me, I used to write homoerotic comics; and I got a horror novel out there. I never used my work to tout myself an ally; I also dared to admit that I was a married straight woman. This disqualified me from any and all arguments—pro or against, regarding the merits of yaoi-comics and m/m fiction. I was either a homophobe, or a self-hating woman that didn’t stand up to menfolk telling us what we could, and couldn’t be, aroused by.
Creatively-cumbersome is when I write out a story (because that’s what writers do) and then pause to weigh the emotional ramifications of releasing said story, to a host of readers with a plethora of baggage. I know—you think I’m blaming readers for their opinions. NO, I’m not.
There’s a certain faction of socially aware (and socially justified) critics that have decided they’re tired of m/m being the established means upon which their lifestyles are put up as masturbatory fodder for the feminine masses. Being masturbatory fodder for the gay male masses is okay—so long as it’s a gay man writing it, and it’s written for gay male readers. Same applies to lesbian porn BTW, when it’s made by lesbians, its ok—but when male writers and comic creators do it—it’s about male gaze and it’s wrong. Female gaze can only applied to lesbians for lesbians, and to straight men, for straight women.
I think you get it…I certainly do.
I reached a point where I dreaded a story getting any form of good-reception from gay male critics, because it always led to gay men critical of the genre to ask, ‘why are you writing gay male romance anyway? Do you think we lack the romance gene, and you’re here to show us how it’s done? I know the feeling boys, I do. Being objectified in an unrealistic way so that a majority group can become aroused—it sucks. It’s been happening to my gender since men learned to spell their names in the snow with their penises in their hands.
Here’s the rub though: Anytime a woman is asked to justify why she writes something erotic or sexual, and for whom, by a man (gay or straight), that’s patriarchy. I don’t owe you an explanation for why I write what I write, BUT, out of respect for your feelings on the subject, I would never attack your posted position on it because I’m not a privileged douche (that’s not sarcasm—I learned that if I offend you, I have no right to tell you not to be offended.)
On the flip-side of my creatively-cumbersome dilemma, was the female fandom (fen is still an acceptable term, yes?).
I got to know and respect a gay male creator with work and a website shunned for not being yaoi (or yaoi enough). 1. He was the wrong gender, and 2. His works weren’t exclusively made for female fans. 3. As a gay man, he should stick to writing and marketing to gay men. Being the wonderful person he is, he took it in stride and ignored these critical ladies (some of whom were editors at publishing companies)—being the raging asshole I am, I actually, for a brief moment in time, supported such notions. I was a jackass, but after speaking to him, I realized that I had no right to be, a jackass. I like him, and his work, and if he wants to call it yaoi and be a yaoi fan, who is any woman to say he can’t? Certainly not me.
Anytime a woman asks a gay man to justify why he writes romantic or drama-driven erotica, it’s homophobic. The very question itself gives credence to the notion that gay man aren’t really human beings capable of being aroused by the same things we as women are–romance, love, complicated plots, or straight men macking on each other. On that same note, a gay man writing gay erotica depicting unrealistic sexual relationships, or insanely destructive romance, doesn’t need to justify why he writes what he does, just because his work happens to appeal to us as women .
What if the shoe were on the other foot and said gay man was writing/drawing sexist depictions of women? I’ve already given my thoughts on Tennessee Williams and DC Comics for the month, thank you.
Writing m/m erotica and GloBL comics became creatively-cumbersome when marginalized groups on both sides decided that no one could share anything pornographic, romantic, or erotic, because everyone was doing it wrong, and for all the wrong reasons. When there’s absolutely no positive reinforcement, even for those that manage to get it right, what’s the fucking point of homoerotic comics or fiction, or yaoi or GloBL comics, for anyone?
(Warning – promotional ego ahead) Have I just stopped writing? Hell no. I’m working on a series. Is it erotic? Sometimes. Is it unrealistic? To the max, it’s scifi! Does it have a real publisher? Yes it does. Will I get criticized for it? Probably, yes. I suppose this makes me a masochist—at least until a group of masochists gets together and tells me not to appropriate their identity, to justify why I keep writing shit that pisses people off (now that’s sarcasm.)
Tina ‘Gynocrat’ Anderson